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Well, looky what I got today

And I’m pretty sure Uncle B gave it to me, too.

No, no…penicillin won’t be required — it’s a counterfeit £1 coin. The one on the left; there’s no writing along the edge. I was about to pass it to a shopkeeper when I noticed.

The pound coin has been counterfeited pretty much from the get-go. A pound is worth a buck sixty or so at the moment, so I guess the economics work out for somebody.

Upwards of one in thirty-six pound coins is a fake, despite banks and post offices pouring incoming coins through automated systems that detect fakes by weight. So somebody’s seriously pumping bad coin into the system.

Tips for detecting fakes are hilariously impractical: make sure the date on the front matches up with the design on the back, the two are properly aligned and the motto around the edge is correct for that year. Like I’m going to glance at my handful of change and exclaim, “my god, it’s got a Scottish Lion on the back, but the motto around the edge is ‘DECUS ET TUTAMEN +’ instead of ‘NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT +’! Plus, the date is 1998! And the Queen’s head is rotated 20° relative to the design on the back! BAH! Obvious forgery!”

Well, actually, these are Brits we’re talking. Maybe not so impractical. The geek gene runs powerfully through these people.

Mine is a weird one. The design on the back is correct for the date on the front and the two sides are in correct alignment, but the forger hasn’t attempted the edge motto at all. Also, the casting is a little soft and the color is a little brown. But, honestly, if they’d made ANY attempt at the motto, I would never have noticed.

It’s a crime to pass a counterfeit along once you’ve noticed; I’m supposed to get it to the Royal Mint somehow. So I’m out a buck sixty.

July 20, 2011 — 9:25 pm
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